domestic staff guide for traveling estate owners

Domestic Staff Guide for Traveling Estate Owners

Travel keeping you away from home? Do you own a large estate or property that needs managing while you’re away? You’re not alone: 62% of Americans are planning to spend more on travel in 2023. Owning and managing a large estate can be a demanding task, especially for those who travel frequently. To ensure that your estate runs smoothly even while you’re away, hiring domestic staff is essential. Domestic staff are trained professionals who provide a range of services to help maintain and manage your estate and household. In this blog post, we’ll explore the types of domestic staff and their roles, why and how to hire domestic staff, and general tips for traveling estate owners.

Reasons Why You Would Need Domestic Staff

As a owner, you may ask yourself, “Do I need domestic staff?” There are several reason why you would benefit from hiring domestic staff:

  1. Maintaining the Estate: Domestic staff can ensure that your estate is well-maintained both inside and out. They can handle tasks such as upkeep, cleaning, landscaping, and gardening. Additionally, some staff members’ duties will include managing other domestic staff to ensure your team runs smoothly in your absence. 
  2. Security: Having domestic staff on-site can enhance the security of your estate, while you’re home or traveling. Domestic staff can monitor the property, implement security measures, and respond to emergencies.
  3. Convenience: Domestic staff can save you time and effort by managing tasks such as scheduling maintenance work, grocery shopping for your family and/or other staff, running errands, and managing household finances.
  4. Hospitality: Domestic staff can ensure your estate is always ready to warmly welcome visitors. If you frequently entertain guests, domestic staff can provide hospitality services, such as serving meals, setting up for events, and ensuring guest comfort.

Furthermore, if you travel often, domestic staff is essential for keeping your estate running smoothly in your absence.

Types of Domestic Staff

There are several types of domestic staff who can perform a variety of roles to keep your estate maintained and secure:

  1. Estate Manager: An estate manager oversees the overall operations of your estate, including managing staff, coordinating maintenance and repairs, and ensuring the smooth running of day-to-day activities around the property.
  2. Household Manager: A household manager is responsible for the management and maintenance of your residence. They oversee household staff, handle scheduling, and ensure that your home is well-maintained and organized. 
  3. Personal Assistant: A personal assistant provides administrative support to the estate owner. They handle tasks such as managing schedules, making travel arrangements, and coordinating events.
  4. Private Chef: A private chef prepares meals tailored to your preferences and dietary requirements. They can also manage the kitchen, plan menus, and handle grocery shopping. These chefs can prepare meals for you and your family, as well as other staff members. 
  5. Nanny: If you have children, a live-in nanny can provide childcare services, ensuring their wellbeing and safety while you’re away. You may also hire a travel nanny to accompany you on your family’s travels.
  6. Butler: A modern butler is essential in a large household. They are often in charge of the dining room, pantry, and wine cellar, while also attending to a range of duties such as: answering the household’s phone, greeting guests at the door, overseeing table settings, and serving drinks and food.
  7. Housekeeper: Housekeepers are essential for maintaining the cleanliness of your estate while you’re home or away. They oversee all cleaning and tidying duties within the home, including everyday upkeep and deep cleaning necessities.
  8. Chauffeur: Also known as a personal driver, a chauffeur can help ensure you arrive at your destination in a safe and timely manner. When traveling, they can make sure you get to the airport on time and will be there there to pick you up upon your return. They can also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the interior and exterior of your vehicle and scheduling regular vehicle maintenance.

How many household staff members do I need?

What kinds of domestic staff, and how many staff members you need, depends on several factors, such as:

  1. Size of the Estate: The size of your estate plays an important role in the number of staff members you will need. A larger estate will require more staff to maintain and manage, while a smaller estate may need only a small handful of domestic staff members. 
  2. Type of Estate: The type of estate you own will also factor into the type of staff you need. For example, if you own a waterfront property, you may need additional staff to maintain boats and yachts. 
  3. Budget: Your family’s budget will determine how many domestic staff members you can afford to hire. It’s important to stay within your budget while also ensuring all areas of your estate are attending to by professional household staff.
  4. Staffing Plan: Developing a staffing plan can help you determine what kinds and how many domestic staff members you need. For example, depending on the number of household staff you employ, you will also require household staff members in managerial roles such as an Executive Estate Manager. Your staffing plan should also take into account factors such as projected growth of your estate, skills and experience of staff members including any gaps or areas for growth, and average staff turnover rate.
  5. Culture: The overall culture of your estate is an important factor to consider when hiring domestic staff. You want to ensure that your staff members fit in with the culture of your estate and share your family’s values. This leads to greater satisfaction for estate owners and staff members alike, lower rates of staff turnover and a smoother running household.

Carefully consider these factors to determine the type and number of household staff your estate requires. It’s important to take the time to develop a staffing plan and to hire domestic staff members who have the necessary skills and experience to perform their duties to a high standard.

Tips for Traveling Estate Owners

With a solid team of domestic staff, traveling away from your estate should not be stressful. You should be able to travel away from your estate with full confidence that your residence and property will be well-maintained in your absence. Here are some tips for traveling estate owners:

  1. Clear Instructions: Provide detailed instructions and guidelines for your domestic staff to follow while you’re away from your estate. This will ensure that your staff understands your expectations and can carry out their duties to your expectations.
  2. Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your household staff while you’re away. Clearly communicate beforehand what types of situations you would like to be contacted about vs. tabled for after you return from travel. This should include plans for regular check-ins as well as times that you want to be notified only in the event of an emergency. 
  3. Emergency Plans: Create plans for emergencies and communicate them clearly to your staff. This includes clear communication about the location of emergency devices such as fire extinguishers, contact information for emergency services, and instructions on how to handle various emergency situations.

How to Hire Domestic Staff

At Nanny Poppins Agency, we’re here to help you hire the perfect team of domestic staff. We have the industry’s best estate managers, personal assistants, private chefs, chauffeurs, butlers, housekeeps, and more! We’ll help you define your needs, interview candidates, and negotiate terms to ensure that your estate runs smoothly while you’re home or away. Contact us today to get started.

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